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- Mthembu puts SA back on podium… after 23 years!
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Zandberg into final
- Updated: July 30, 2011
Team South Africa produced another finalist as Gerhard Zandberg booked his lane in the final of the men’s 50-metre backstroke on Sunday evening with another solid performance on the penultimate day of the FINA World Swimming Championships in Shanghai, China on Saturday.
The bronze medallist in 2009 in Rome, Zandberg won the second semi-final in a 24.91sec dash to clock the third fastest time for the final. In the first semi-final, world record-holder Liam Tancock from Great Britain thrashed the water to a 24.62sec with France’s Camille Lacourt close by on 24.85sec.
In the morning heats Zandberg had clocked 24.72 to be fastest into the semi-finals. ÔÇ£I did not feel as good as this morning, especially at the 30m mark so I just backed off a little,ÔÇØ said Zandberg afterwards. ÔÇ£Tancock was also rushing it so it will be an interesting final.ÔÇØ
Zandberg also took the gold medal in 2007 at the World Swimming Championships and will certainly be aiming high for tomorrow. If he does achieve a gold, it will allow the South African contingent some breathing space in matching the one gold and two bronze medals from Rome in 2009.
Thus far Cameron van der Burgh is Team SA’s only medallist with two bronze medals in the 50 and 100m breaststroke.
Ace sprinter Gideon Louw ended eighth in the final of the men’s 50m freestyle, just marginally off his semi-final time, clocking 22.11sec. In the semi-finals he had swum 22.02 and the Auburn based student had jumped to ninth place in the world.
Suzaan van Biljon moved up to 14th place in the women’s 50m breaststroke, clocking 0.01sec slower than her morning heat time, to touch in 31.97sec, 1.57sec too slow to qualify for the finals.
Then in the women’s 800m freestyle, Wendy Trott had moved right up into fourth place at the end of 700 metres, only to realise she had another 100 metres to go. She still ended one place better than her 2009 final in coming seventh overall in 8:30.45. Up until her mistake, she had been swimming the best race of her swimming career.
ÔÇ£And that is what makes it worse,ÔÇØ said Trott afterwards, clearly disappointed in the mistake.
Taking to the water on the final day on Sunday will be Riaan Schoeman and Kathryn Meaklim in the men’s and women’s 400m individual medley respectively. Finally, the men’s 4 x 100m medley relay team of Charl Crous (back),┬á Van der Burgh (breast), Chad Le Clos (butterfly) and Graeme Moore (free) will be hoping to finish on a high note by making the final.